University of Washington 2019 summer launch - Sisters, Oregon
ISTAR and team orchestrates the launch operations of the UW campaign
Todd Anderson - U of W Earth and Space Sciences reports: The goal of these balloon flights is to measure electrical properties of the atmosphere—specifically, the electric current flowing between the extreme upper atmosphere and the ground. This current system has long been thought to be primarily driven by global thunderstorm activity. Measuring this current is best done far from pollutants and weather effects near the Earth’s surface, so we use a high-altitude balloon to carry instruments well into the ozone layer. By measuring this electric current at high altitude, and simultaneously monitoring thunderstorm activity with a global lightning detection network, we can test this idea with higher accuracy than previous work.